Galectins and TRIMs directly interact and orchestrate autophagic response to endomembrane damage

Autophagy. 2017 Jun 3;13(6):1086-1087. doi: 10.1080/15548627.2017.1307487. Epub 2017 Apr 3.


Macroautophagy/autophagy is a homeostatic process delivering cytoplasmic targets, including damaged organelles, to lysosomes for degradation; however, it is not completely understood how compromised endomembranes are recognized by the autophagic apparatus. We have described previously that the TRIM family of proteins act as receptors for selective autophagy. In this study we uncovered the property of TRIMs to directly interact with members of the family of cytosolic lectins termed galectins. Galectins patrol the cytoplasm and recognize compromised membranes. We show that TRIM16 uses LGALS3 (galectin 3) to detect damaged lysosomes and phagosomes. TRIM16 assembles the core autophagic machinery and is found in protein complexes with MTOR and TFEB, thus regulating their activity to set in motion endomembrane quality control. The TRIM16-LGALS3 system plays a key role in autophagic homeostasis of lysosomes and in the control of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in vivo.

Keywords: TFEB; TOR; lysosome; phagosome; tuberculosis; ubiquitin E3 ligase.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autophagy*
  • Endosomes / metabolism*
  • Galectins / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Intracellular Membranes / metabolism*
  • Lysosomes / metabolism
  • Phagosomes / metabolism
  • Tripartite Motif Proteins / metabolism*


  • Galectins
  • Tripartite Motif Proteins